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Councilwoman Who Brought Forth Proposed Baltimore Wal-Mart Development Has Been Unseated
September 15, 2011, 1:30 am
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Councilwoman Who Brought Forth Proposed Baltimore Wal-Mart Development Has Been Unseated

From the Baltimore Sun September 14, 2011 (excerpts):

In an election with few surprises, Baltimore City Councilwoman Belinda M. Conaway, the daughter of a storied political family, was soundly defeated in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

Conaway, 43, who had been dogged in recent months over residency issues and filed a $20 million lawsuit against a blogger she claimed had defamed her, said in a brief interview Wednesday morning that she looked forward to spending more time with her family. She ultimately dropped the suit.

The defeat is a blow to the Conaway political dynasty, which includes the councilwoman’s father, Frank M. Conaway, Sr., the clerk of the city’s Circuit Court who made an unsuccessful primary challenge to Rawlings-Blake. Belinda Conaway’s mother, Mary Conaway is the city’s register of wills and her brother, Frank M. Conaway Jr. represents the city in the House of Delegates.

While the Baltimore Sun cites her residency issue as the reason for Conaway’s defeat, residents who live in the 7th District of Baltimore City knew that her controversial introduction of the proposed 25th Street Station Wal-Mart development was likely to spur a challenger.

From the Mobtown Shank:

There’s no doubt this contributed to her defeat. But Conaway’s troubles began awhile before that when she introduced PUD legislation for the controversial 25th Street Station Wal-Mart/Lowes retail complex in Remington.

The way the PUD was handled, the way Conaway conducted herself (at some community meetings she was defensive and hostile), her lack of support for community concerns like Bmore Local’s 13 Points all not only immediately guaranteed she would get a primary challenge, it motivated a number of area residents who then ended up actively supporting Mosby’s council seat bid.

Belinda Conaway’s defeat should come as a warning to other city council representatives: When you bring a Wal-Mart into a community that doesn’t need or want one, there may be a price to be paid – and that price could be your political career.

Belinda Conaway was, in fact, presented with multiple petitions containing hundreds of signatures from residents who did not support the PUD for the 25th Street Station -and apparently they voted.

Meet Bmore Local at Free Film Screening

Meet Bmore Local at Free Film Screening

On April 19th Councilwoman Belinda Conaway introduced to the City Council a PUD (Planned Unit Development) for the proposed 25th Street Station Wal-Mart development project in downtown Baltimore.  This introduction of the PUD to City Council is the first step in getting the project approved for the required zoning changes.  Although these things generally take time to go through various committees and then hearings before they are approved, there is a lot of pressure from the developers to move this particular piece of legislation along quickly.

On Tuesday, April 27,2010 Bmore Local is holding a free film screening for Wal-Mart: The High Cost Of Low Prices at the 2640 Space in Charles Village. Come check out the film and discover what kind of an impact a Wal-Mart could have on your environment.  In addition, meet members of Bmore Local and learn how you can get involved in the group who opposes the proposed 25th Street Station Wal-Mart development as it currently stands.

Bmore Local is a coalition of residents, businesses and community leaders in Baltimore who have come together to promote smart development, good jobs and healthy neighborhoods in Baltimore City.

Wal-Mart Project Developers Would Demolish 19th Century Church

Wal-mart Project Developers Would Demolish 19th Century Church

Despite repeated pleas by Remington community members, the former Royer’s Hill Methodist Episcopal Church will not be saved if WV Urban Development has its way.  You wouldn’t know it though, by looking at current designs for the development, which show a church-like structure at it’s location.

The viable 19th century stone building, which would likely far outlast any new structure built at the site under natural forces, is located at the corner of 24th and Sisson Streets and is currently being used as a storage space.  In February, Baltimore Hertage, a citywide, nonprofit historic and architectural preservation organization, came out in solidarity with residents and stated on their blog that the church “should be preserved and utilized to help establish a successful transition between the large commercial development and the historic residential Remington neighborhood”.

The developers of the proposed 25th Street Station apparently lack the creativity to incorporate the building into their ground plan and continue with their intention to demolish the church as they are gearing to present the project to the City Council.  In last week’s meeting with residents, a member of the WV Urban Development team explained that the building “can not be saved” and in exchange they are considering creating a facade in the form of the church in order “to maintain the original character of the corner”, which is the church-like configuration rendered in the current plan.

The bulldozing of the church raises further questions about the developer’s ability to respectfully reconcile community concerns about the controversial development.  A rally is being held Monday at City Hall at 4pm before the anticipated introduction of the Planned Unit Development (PUD) for the development by City Council Member Belinda Conaway to the Baltimore City Council.  Community members who are concerned about the development are encouraged to attend the rally, which is organized by Bmore Local, and urge City Council not to approve the PUD unless certain demands by the community are met.[tweetmeme]

25th Street Station PUD Hearing

Latest On The 25th Street Station PUD Hearing

In regards to the previous post:
Walmart & 25th Street Station Update

Councilwoman Belinda Conaway has announced that the PUD has been delayed at the developer’s request.  The new hearing is scheduled for April 19th, 2010.

Baltimore City Council Legistlative Calendar:
Monday, April 19, 2010
City Council Meeting
5:00 PM Du Burns Council Chamber, 4th floor, City Hall

City Council meetings are open to the public.

For more information about the delay, CLICK HERE to read today’s article in the Baltimore Sun.